The West Wing: Season 5 Reviews

July 12, 2019
After years of seeing these hopelessly ethical characters one-up each other relentlessly, it's not just nice but dramatically satisfying to witness them at a serious crossroads.
November 6, 2018
Written by John Sacret Young and Josh Singer, with the density and intelligence one expects from this exceptional series...the [finale] episode ends the season in style.
September 25, 2018
The departure of Sorkin and director/producer Thomas Schlamme after Season Four caused a stumbling block for the show and led to a muddled and generally uninspired transitional year.
September 25, 2018
Another memorable highlight of Season 5 laid out the process of putting someone on the Supreme Court...Glenn Close puts in a prototypically great performance as the very liberal federal judge set to be the first female Chief Justice.
July 6, 2018
This remains superbly entertaining TV, but is best viewed as a transitional bridge between the chaotic genius of the early years and the more structured, narratively superior season six.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 27, 2018
Really, if it weren't for the professionalism of the cast, you'd think The West Wing had turned into its own Saturday Night Live parody.
June 27, 2018
[John] Wells may have less sensationalistic plot turns in mind for the coming season, but he must first see his way out of Sorkin's misguided twists, which have also included Bartlet's multiple sclerosis story line.
June 27, 2018
Season five is shockingly horrible, even worse than you remember, packed with about eighteen different bad ideas designed to make the show into another show altogether.
June 27, 2018
It shatters the complacent amity of the Bartlet White House, giving room to all the tensions that flourish around a real Oval Office and that had been smothered in the show's glow of second-term fellowship, banter and high moral principle.
June 27, 2018
This was not a series that got worse, or a simple matter of bad writing in comparison to Sorkin's inspired writing. It wasn't that the moments that made the show great were fewer and far between, it was that this was no longer the same show.
February 28, 2018
Executive producer Aaron Sorkin has handed his title and creation to John Wells, who in tackling the cliffhanger he inherits, adds adroit touches of political sniping.
January 27, 2018
... With Aaron Sorkin gone, it's become a half-speed hobbling from obvious pillar to predictable post, with long walks, slow reaction shots, repetitious flashbacks, underlined signifiers...
November 17, 2017
The West Wing is stocked with great characters and truly wonderful actors. That, more than anything Wells did in this first episode, is the reason it's still important and rewarding to watch The West Wing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4